Twins tapped for all-star games

By ROBBIE ROBERTSON,

For one of the few times in their lives, Zachary and Zackariah Johnson will be separated for two weeks.

Zackariah was recently named as a defensive back in the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star football game. The game consists of Mississippi’s and Alabama’s best football players.

Not long after Zackariah was announced, his twin, Zachary was named to the annual Bernard Blackwell North/South All-Star Game.

“It’s a huge honor for both of them,” Newton coach Ryan Smith said. “I don’t know if anybody from Newton has ever played in the Mississippi/Alabama game. They have both worked really hard and it’s a great opportunity for them to be seen by some college coaches. I don’t know if they are too happy about being apart. Zackariah will be gone for a week and then Zachary will be gone the next week. I doubt they have ever been apart that long. Their legit concern was that they were going to be away from each other for two weeks. That’s how close they are.”

The duo were the only players from Newton County chosen for this year’s all-star games.

“Jud Boswell called me about two weeks ago and said he needed a safety and that he needed a big safety,” Smith said. “He also told me that he couldn’t take both of them but that if Zackariah was willing to be a safety, he was probably going to be on the list.”

Zachary will be a wide receiver in the Bernard Blackwell game, which choses its players after the Mississippi/Alabama game is selected. Smith said the biggest thing for his two players will be their exposure to college coaches.

“It’s incredible how many college coaches see those guys,” Smith said. “For Zackariah, I think if he gets his ACT, the offers will come. When I was at Oak Grove, they practiced there and there would be 20 college coaches there. I just feel like someone is going to come through and like him and more offers will come.”

This year’s game will be played on Saturday, Dec. 16 at M.M. Roberts Stadium on the campus of Southern Mississippi. The 2017 Bernard Blackwell North/South All-Star game is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 9 at Gulfport High School.